The Law of the European Union. Nowadays a Creation of the ECJ

Essay by basilika2 May 2010

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

The law of the European Union. Nowadays a creation of the ECJ

Brought into existence by the postwar wish to establish a European economical integration, nowadays European legal system has attained characteristics, unforeseen at the time the Treaties were drafted. Most of these tendencies occurred in the first pillar where the ECJ was endowed by the drafters with a broad scope of prerogatives. Taking an advantage of that competence with a creative approach, slightly based on the actual Treaties provisions, the ECJ heralded the supremacy of EU law and other general principles of law, which were combined with the doctrines of direct, indirect effect and state liability. Thus, through ECJ's jurisprudence, the EC which was planned as an economical community became a superior legal order, with which the Member States (MSs) are obliged to comply. Meanwhile new tendencies occur in EU institutions and sources of law, producing their impact on the national legal systems.

The most important step made through ECJ's jurisprudence towards consistent and uniform application of EU law is the heralding of the supremacy doctrine. Apparently, when first referring to this doctrine in Van Gend en Loos [1963] and further developing its arguments on it in Costa v ENEL [1964], the ECJ used a purposive approach, not tied closely with the actual wording of the Treaty. Moreover in Internationale Handelsgesellshaft [1970], the referral to the goals before the EC (uniformity and efficacy of EC law) indicated divergence from the initial aim to "promote throughout the community a harmonious development of economic activities" (Article 2, the Treaty of Rome). Determined to ensure the stability of the supremacy doctrine, the court even required that national courts refuse to "apply conflicting national law (…) without the prior setting aside of such provisions" (Simmenthal No.2 [1978]). Thus the ECJ produced...